Missouri Western finished third in the MIAA last year, leading the pack that was chasing top dogs Northwest Missouri State and Pittsburg State. The Griffons begin their quest to reach that top tier in 2000 tonight when they host South Dakota. The Griffons were 7-4 a year ago, while South Dakota was 4-7. Central Missouri State opens at home against Winona State. The Mules beat Winona last season, 30-24. Both teams were 7-4 a year ago. Central Missouri features quarterback Cable Davis, a transfer from Southern Mississippi.